I make no secret of the fact that there is a big soft spot in my heart for the tremendous gains of the labor movement in American history and a big sad spot for how certain unions — such as those representing meatpackers and agricultural workers — have been all but decimated.
Since many — probably most — of my ancestors made their way in the world and in this country as laboring folks, I am proud to acknowledge that the privileges I have had I owe to their hard work and struggle to create an American middle class.
The Pajama Game (1957)
I may or may not have appeared in a stage production of this in 9th grade...
"Which Side Are You On?" (Ani DiFranco revision of the Pete Seeger Song)
Joan Baez singing "Joe Hill" at Woodstock
Smithsonian Folkways' " 'Talking Union' and Other Union Songs"
I can't resist pointing out that Katherine Paterson (the author of the first two novels) is a former Presbyterian (USA) mission co-worker (what I currently am). I'm afraid I idolize her writing a bit. What a storyteller!
And four of the five are young adult (YA) novels. I can't help it; that's a favorite category of mine.
Bread and Roses, Too by Katherine Paterson
The Jungle by Upton Sinclair
(It's less about nasty meat than textbooks might lead you to believe!)
Rachel Marie Stone (http://rachelmariestone.com) is a writer and a Presbyterian Church (USA) mission co-worker who is headed, with her family, to Zomba, Malawi, in November of this year. Her first book, Eat With Joy: Redeeming God's Gift of Food, is forthcoming from InterVarsity Press in March 2013.
Photo credit: Image of Pete Seeger (middle, R) Pete Seeger of The Weavers performs at a reading of 'Pete Seeger: His Life In His Own Words' at Bryant Park Reading Room on July 18, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Taylor Hill/Getty Images)